Fuente info Team Brunel
Louis Balcaen returns at Team Brunel
Louis Balcaen had been added to Team Brunel’s line-up for Leg 3. For the 29-year old Belgian, it is a reunion with skipper Bouwe Bekking and navigator Andrew Cape. The talented helmsman and trimmer sailed together with them on board Team Brunel in the previous Volvo Ocean Race. With Louis, the number of under 30 sailors on board Team Brunel is four.
Balcaen part of plan Bekking
Balcaen has been part of the plans of skipper Bekking from the beginning. The Belgian will replace the Italian Argentinian Maciel Cicchetti as scheduled on board Team Brunel. Bekking: “Louis is one of the best helmsmen I know. The moment we started this campaign it was clear to me that I wanted him on board. He has always been part of the plan that we had. I see Louis as an exponent of the next talented generation. His experience, brings that extra piece.”
When asked why Louis had not been on the list from day one, the most-experienced skipper in the race was clear. Bekking: “Louis could not sail the first two stages due to other obligations. But for everyone in our team it was clear from the beginning that Louis was part of our plan and would be coming from Cape Town instead of Ciccho. Louis attented the team the team at the start in Alicante. We had to be careful to prevent it leaked out, but we succeeded.”
Balcaen: “For me it is a great opportunity and I am very pleased that Bouwe has thought of me. It is a very talented team, where I think I will fit in very well. I love sailing, i like racing i love the competition it’s a bit of addiction. ”
It’s about keeping your options open
The skipper says he has more options. Bekking: “We, as Team Brunel, have chosen to announce the starting nine people plus Juanpa Marcos, who has sailed the entire preparation with us first. In addition, we now have Louis from Cape Town on board and also Jens Dolmer (DEN) is on standby in case we need him. But there are still a number of sailors with whom we have very clear agreements for moments later in the race. Compare it with a football team, depending on the circumstances, you set up the strongest team for a particular race.”
Four under thirty sailors
With his age Balcaen sets the number of under 30 sailors at four. Besides the 29-year old Belgian, the 26-year-old Dutchman Carlo Huisman, the 28-year-old Australian Kyle Langford and the 26-year-old New Zealander Peter Burling – world sailor of the year- are part of the team.
Balcaen: “It is a great opportunity for me to sail with some very experienced sailors again and at the same time with those very talented youngs sailors. Boys like Peter, Kyle and Carlo. Of course I hope to be able to teach them something, but I am convinced that I will certainly start to learn a lot from them too. “